Bob Zurko is part of one of the more unusual aspects of the antique business, the promotion end. He and his family have been working for the past 49 years promoting Antique Flea Markets, Flea Markets, Civil War Shows and Specialty Shows in the Midwest and all over the country. “We provide a massive advertising and promotion program including television, radio, newspapers, trade papers, digital marketing, extensive mailings, Internet and much more.
Our Markets host antique, vintage, and collectible dealers from throughout the Midwest in indoor buildings, open-air and heated tents. Offered for sale will be a variety of antiques and collectibles, including country furniture, estate jewelry. Victoriana, postcards, art glass and porcelains, advertising items, old toys, vintage clothing and linens, coins, decorator items, paintings, primitives, treasures, and much, much more. Zurko Promotions is committed to providing quality markets and shows for its customers and dealers throughout the Midwest. In addition to our shows, we also provide top quality Auction Service for Estates, Antiques, and Collectibles.” he shares.
How did he get started in this business? “I used to be a Chicago school teacher, then I started with a little flea market and it turned into a business,” Bob shared.
With about 40 venues per year, the Zurko family is a busy one. “The biggest venue we do is the Grayslake Antique Market,” he shared. Located at the Lake County Fair Grounds the event is in a 100,000 square foot building. “It is every 2nd Sunday of the month and the Saturday before.
Bob’s longest running show is the Shawano, Wisconsin flea market which is said is near Green Bay. This one has been around since the beginning. “It has been running for 47 years.” This love of antiques gets into the blood. “It is a unique feeling about antiques,” Bob shared. “Once you get it, you never get rid of it.”
When asked what he collects Bob said, “I collect old comic books and vintage toys.”
During this economy, Bob shared that antiques and flea markets are a good place to be. “Contrary to what people believe, I think this is a great time to get into the business.”
He recommended for those that wish to get started to go to flea markets and auctions. “Observe what sells. Study the market. It doesn’t take much money to get started.”
Besides the fun of operating antique shows and flea markets, Bob also had another wonderful aspect of the business that he operates. “I also do antique buying tours to Europe. At the first of the year we go to Poland, England and Holland.”
He said one show he attended overseas had 5,000 dealers! To find good deals are antique markets whether overseas, or in the Midwest, his advice was the same. “To find reasonable, you find the best first thing in the morning. On our trips, we go out with flashlights and find items.”
For one like Bob who sees all aspects of the business, he seemed like the perfect individual to ask if there are any new trends in the antique business for the new year. “The trend today is reasonable antiques that anyone can afford. The middle of the road collectibles are the best buy. Anything from toys to primitives,” he added, “as long as they are in a reasonable price range.”
“What else is hot,” he added, “are coins and stamps. Collectible coins and stamps 20-30’s coins are going like hot cakes and vintage stamps too from the 1800’s.” Comics are also hot,” he added stating that, super hero comics are really in demand. Zurko promotions have coin and stamp and comic auctions in Wisconsin. Business is good also he shared because, “Antiques never go to zero!”
For Bob Zurko, he enjoys the business because he says, “I like the people!” Zurko Promotions is a family business. With five staff members that are all family, they hire as needed at events.